This interesting surname is of Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places: Grim's Ditch in Wiltshire, recorded as "Grimesdiche" in the 1280 Book of Pleas, and Grim's Dyke in Oxfordshire, recorded as "Grimesdich" in the Records of the Royal Archaeological Institute. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Old Norse personal name "Grimr", a byname given to "a person who conceals his name", "a masked person", with the Olde English pre th Century "dic", ditch, moat, dike, wall of earth, embankment.There is an ancient earthwork in both of these places. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Geictien, daughter of Thomas Grimditch, on January 20th 1658, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; the christening of Ann, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Grimditch, on January 2nd 1680, at St. Gabriel Fenchurch; and the marriage of Franses Grimditch and John Woodward, on November 5th 1689, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a green shield with a gold griffin, armed red, seizing on a man in complete armour, lying on his back, proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Grymesdiche, which was dated 1474, in the "Records of East Cheshire", during the reign of King Edward 1V, known as "The Self Proclaimed King". 1461 - 1483. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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